George Clair Tooker (1920-2011) | Magic Realism painter

George Clair Tooker, Jr., American painter🎨 (born Aug. 5, 1920, Brooklyn, N.Y. - died March 27, 2011, Hartland, Vt.), created luminous canvasses of social significance that echoed themes of love, death, grief, alienation, aging, isolation and faith.
Tooker’s egg-tempera paintings depicted eerie and haunting situations with mythic overtones. Some of his most chilling offerings include Children and Spastics (1946), sadists bullying three effeminate men; Subway (1950), harried commuters congregating with strangers; The Waiting Room (1957), seemingly catatonic patrons biding their time; and Landscape with Figures (1965-66), the heads of office workers bobbing above a maze of cubicles.

David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) | Baroque / Genre painter

David Teniers was the most famous 17th-century painter of peasant life. He enjoyed international popularity in his own lifetime and during the 18th century, especially in France.
Teniers's success was marked by the acquisition of a country house in 1662 and by the grant in 1680 of a patent of nobility.
His work was imitated by many followers, including his son, David Teniers III.

Henry Tonks (1862-1937) | Impressionist painter

Henry Tonks, FRCS (9 April 1862 - 8 January 1937) was a British🎨 surgeon and later draughtsman and painter of figure subjects, chiefly interiors, and a caricaturist. He became an influential art teacher.
He was one of the first British artists to be influenced by the French Impressionists; he exhibited with the New English Art Club, and was an associate of many of the more progressive artists of late Victorian Britain, including James McNeill Whistler🎨, Walter Sickert, John Singer Sargent🎨 and George Clausen.

Daniel Ridgway Knight | A Halt, 1890

After Daniel Ridgway Knight’s first artistic successes in Paris, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissioner invited him to move to Poissy, a rural town not far outside the city limits. The renowned Meissonier was impressed with Ridgway Knight's talent and offered his protégé advice and a challenge: to paint a large picture from a recent sketch.
Ridgway Knight boldly met his mentor's goal, and the resulting painting of 1875, Les Laveuses (sold in these rooms April 25, 2006, lot 142) set him in a new direction, informing a series of ambitious and complex multi-figural compositions, like the present work.

Hugues Merle (1823-1881) | Genre painter

French painter🎨 Hugues Merle has long been associated with his friend and possible rival, William Bouguereau🎨.
Merle was just two years older than Bouguereau, and their thematic and artistic concerns and meticulous degree of finish resulted in comparison from critics and collectors alike.
Merle began exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1847 and went on to become to teacher of Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau, Bouguereau's wife and a talented painter in her own right.

Cesar Pattein | Les blés, 1891

Born in Steenvoorde, in northern France, César Pattein (1850-1931) was raised among farmers and maintained a close connection to the rural region throughout his life.
He seldom traveled much further than Lille, with the occasional journey to Paris when exhibiting at the Salon.
While he experimented in his early career with portraiture and historical and religious subjects, Pattein was apt to represent agrarian traditions and rustic rituals, particularly those involving the harvest or other celebrations of agrarian abundance; this eventually led him to the atelier of Jules Breton🎨 in the mid-1880s.

Ernest Quost (French Impressionist painter, 1842-1931)

Ernest Quost (born February 24, 1842 in Avallon (Yonne), died March 24, 1931 in Paris) was a French🎨 Impressionist painter.
Painter of animated cityscapes, landscapes, still lifes, flowers and fruit, pastels. Probably a pupil of Horace Aumont (1839-1864) during his stay in Paris.
He began at the Paris Salon in 1866, was a Societaire des Artistes Français, was awarded🎨 medals for his work in the years, 1880, 1882, 1889, 1890 and 1900 and was made a Chevalier and then Officier of the Legion d’honneur in 1883 and 1903, respectively.